At Mind, we invest in research and pay attention to developing our practice so that it is up-to-date with the latest evidence.

In this section, you will find our published frameworks and documents that guide our practice.

You will also find some of the literature published by others that we think is an important reference, and our own published research reports and presentations.

Our approaches to recovery 

Mind’s Lived Experience Strategy (PDF 1.95 MB) - Lived experience provides a knowledge base that can support genuine reform within our services, organisation and the mental health sector more broadly. Mind has developed this lived experience strategy to amplify lived expertise as a knowledge base, create a platform for change, to deepen and refine service provision and, to support us to lead best practice. It has been developed and will be guided by people with lived experience.

Mind's Peer Work Framework (PDF 289 KB) - The Mind Peer work framework describes what peer work is, shows the evidence for peer support and why lived experience is important across the organisation. It outlines Mind’s model of peer work (what peer work looks like in practice – including the lived experience knowledge base, peer work values and peer practice principles) and explains how Mind fosters an effective peer workforce.

Mind’s Participation and Co-design Practice Framework (PDF 3.3 MB) - Alongside the history and context, this framework steps through what we can do to create the conditions for successful collaboration with the Mind community. It provides Mind practitioners with case studies and examples of this work and highlights the resources and tools they have available for participation and co-design to be embedded as everyday practice. 

Mind Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 1.2 MB) - Mind is committed to change across our organisation that will support improved outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

Mind Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 2.3 MB) - This Plan builds is the crucial next step in Mind’s strategic vision for inclusive and innovative mental health services.

Mind Diversity and Inclusion Framework (PDF 2.9 MB) - Mind has developed this framework to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion and guide the way we work. It sets out a range of principles and strategies to ensure our services provide a welcoming environment and experience for everyone.

Mind's approach to recovery oriented practice (PDF 607 KB) or HTML version - This document presents a statement of Mind's approach to recovery and the practice that supports it, describing five key principles of the latter.

Mind Youth Services Framework (PDF 1.8 MB) - This document describes the guiding principles behind Mind’s provision of youth services. View the Mind youth services framework video.

Mind’s approach to working with families and carers (PDF 8.5 MB)  - Family-centred and inclusive practice, where families and carers are seen as partners in care, is central to modern mental health policy, practice and service delivery. Mind also responds to the impact of mental ill-health on the wellbeing of families and carers in their own right. 

Theoretical approaches underpinning the Mind Youth Residential Rehabilitation model (PDF 146 KB) - Mind’s Youth Residential Rehabilitation (YRR) service model is grounded in the empirical work that documents the unique needs of young people and makes it clear that systems need to change in order to meet them. Research shows a significant rise over the past 25 years in emotional and behavioural difficulties among adolescents.

Establishment of the Mind Recovery College (PDF 285 KB) - This paper provides the relevant information for the establishment of a recovery college as well as some of the issues to be considered in developing the model within an Australian context.

Mind's Research and Evaluation Framework (PDF 5 MB) - Mind is committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of its services to better support improved outcomes for you. It is also committed to influencing the public policy and community attitudes that affect the wellbeing and status of people facing serious mental health-related challenges. This document outlines the research and evaluation framework that helps us to do both.

Discussions on recovery 

This page has links to information, research papers and government policies that influence and underpin our delivery of services to clients.

Victorian Government: Framework for recovery-oriented practice – explicitly identifies the principles, capabilities, practices and leadership that should guide the work of the Victorian specialist mental health workforce.

South Australia Government: Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy - provides a framework for the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing in our community and the ongoing reform of our mental health care system.

Western Australia Government: Mental Health 2020: Making it personal and everybody's business - sets out priority areas for action and provides a framework to address them.

Patricia Deegan PhD is a psychologist and researcher. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager and in this seminal paper, Recovery and the conspiracy of hope she describes her own personal journey of recovery, and raises issues about ‘hope-filled environments’. Patricia has for years worked with people with mental disorders to help them get better and lead rewarding lives. Her perspective on this work is outlined in Recovery from mental disorders

Hopefulness in recovery - Watch Daniel Fisher, Director of the National Empowerment Centre talk about the hopefulness in recovery.  

100 ways to support recovery: a guide for mental health professionals - Written by Mike Slade, and published by Rethink in the UK, this book presents suggestions for ways mental health staff can support the recovery of an individual with mental illness. The suggestions for support may also provide useful information for families and friends of people experiencing mental health challenges.   

Mind's published research 

As with all our research projects, findings will be used to improve the quality of our services and to support our policy advocacy and system reform work. Where appropriate, they will also be used to influence attitudes towards people with serious mental ill-health among policy makers and the wider community.

Topic: Legal intervention 

Legally Minded: understanding how legal intervention can improve the lives of people with mental ill-health – Mind, in partnership with Northern Community Legal Centre, developed a project to explore and understand the impact of legal intervention on the lives of people with mental health issues. This report presents the research findings and discussion drawn from eight interviews with Northern Community Legal Centre clients experiencing mental ill-health to explore the perceived impact of legal intervention on their lives.

Legally Minded: understanding how legal intervention can improve the lives of people with mental ill-health (PDF 2.1 MB)

Topic: The impact of COVID-19

Survey results of the impact of COVID-19 on Australians with mental ill health - Mind, in partnership with Stride, Flourish Australia, Wellways Australia, Neami National, Open Minds and One Door Mental Health conducted a survey to examine the perceived impact of COVID-19 on the people we support.

Resilience in Isolation - the impact of COVID-19 on Australians with mental ill health (PDF 3.4 MB)

Topic: Mental health and housing

Trajectories: the interplay between mental health and housing pathways - Mind Australia, in partnership with Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute (AHURI), has completed a two-year national study examining the relationship between the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health.

Find out more on the Trajectories page.

Exploring the impact of housing security on recovery in people with severe mental illness - As a novel supported housing model, the evaluation was conducted to document the experience of being a tenant at Haven South Yarra.

Topic: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Understanding people with psychosocial disability as choice-makers in the context of the NDIS (2018) - Choice and control are central to the design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). However, the application of choice for people with psychosocial disability remains largely unexamined in the empirical literature. This study explores how people with psychosocial disability make choices in the context of the NDIS, the supports they draw on and their understandings of themselves as choice-makers.

Effective, evidence-based psychosocial interventions suitable for early intervention in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): promoting psychosocial functioning and recovery (2016) - A report that brings together evidence about the early interventions that can significantly help people with a psychosocial disability (mental health condition) participate socially and economically. Its findings are a resource for people in this situation, their families and carers and for National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff involved in local area coordination and the provision of support services.

Implications for family carers when people with psychosocial disability have individualised funding packages – literature review (2015) - A literature review that examines the impact of individualised funding on family carers of people with a psychosocial disability. (Individualised funding is becoming the dominant funding mechanism in disability and aged services under the NDIS.)

Implications for family carers - literature review (PDF 253 KB)

People making choices: the support needs of people with a psychosocial disability (2014) - An NDIS conference presentation of research that sets out the support priorities for people living with a psychosocial disability (mental health condition).

Topic: Families and carers

Bipolar caregivers project - A study that clarifies the experiences and needs of informal carers of people with both bipolar and substance use disorders.

Topic: Innovation and reform

The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia (2017) - Informal carers play a significant role in providing ongoing support and assistance to people with mental illness.

The aims of this project were to: provide a profile of mental health carers and the types of care provided; estimate the replacement cost of informal mental health care; estimate bed-based service replacement costs; review current government spending on mental health carers and unmet support needs.

Out Doors optimal health program: promoting wellbeing through adventures in nature - Out Doors is a community managed mental health organisation that promotes mental health and wellbeing through adventure activities in the natural environment. In early 2016 Out Doors’ collaborated with Frameworks for Health (FFH), St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne to develop the Out Doors’ Optimal Health Program (OOHP). This collaboration and pilot program seeks to link positive experiences in nature with the Optimal Health Program (OHP), a self-management wellbeing program which aims to promote hope, growth, meaningful connections and partnerships. This paper focuses on the preliminary findings relating to the short term outcomes participants’ experienced.

Out Doors optimal health - program report

Community mental health care after self-harm: A retrospective cohort study - Presentation to hospital after self-harm is an opportunity to treat underlying mental health problems. This study aimed to describe the pattern of mental health contacts following hospital admission focusing on those with and without recent contact with community mental health services (connected and unconnected patients).

Community mental health care after self-harm study - report 

Mind at The Mental Health Service (TheMHS) Conference 2015 - An award-winning presentation of an innovative resource at the 2015 TheMHS Conference by a lived experience member of the Mind Research and Evaluation Committee.

Mind at The Mental Health Service Conference presentation

Safety and autonomy in the Australian mental health services sector - A report providing recommendations for mental health service reform to achieve a culture of safety, autonomy and recovery.

Safety and autonomy in the Australian mental health services sector

Supported decision making (SDM) project - Mind Australia was a partner on an ARC Linkage Project (2014 – 2018) which investigated the experiences of people in the mental health system and carers in relation to supported decision making. 

The project produced a suite of online and downloadable resources on supported decision making. These can be used by people with experience of mental health problems, carers, mental health practitioners, and mental health service providers. 

Resources include two (2) online resources based on people’s stories on film and audio of living with severe mental health challenges (including carers’ experiences) located on the Healthtalk Australia website:

The Trauma and Homelessness Initiative (THI) - An initiative investigating the relationship between trauma and homelessness. It produced several key documents that are available here:

Consumer transactions: Equitable support models for individuals with decision-making impairments - The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the challenges that individuals with mental and intellectual impairments encounter when they engage in consumer transactions. The research team set out to gauge the viability of Supported Decision Making models for consumers. A specific focus was on transactions occurring in the finance, telecommunications, insurance, and utilities industries. The primary objective of the study was to establish which support models for individuals with mental and intellectual impairments may assist them to engage in consumer transactions.

Consumer transactions: Equitable support models for individuals with decision-making impairments (PDF 185 KB) 

Topic: Recovery

Community treatment orders in the context of recovery - A presentation on a research project about community treatment orders. Community treatment orders enable an authorised psychiatrist to provide compulsory treatment to a person experiencing mental illness.

Community treatment orders in the context of recovery - presentation (PDF 564 KB)

Are we recovery oriented? An Australian encounter of learning from people with lived experiences - A chapter from a book that describes the experience of community researchers as participants in the evaluation of the innovative model of service delivery Adult Mental Health Initiatives.

Are we recovery oriented? order form (PDF 844 KB)

Co-producing the journey to recovery: The Mind Recovery College - The Mind Recovery College™ provides an alternative approach to mental health service delivery based on a co-production and education-based approach. Mind commissioned the Centre for Mental Health at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne to conduct a process and preliminary outcomes evaluation. The evaluation was co-designed with Recovery College students and staff. This paper documents the progress that the Mind Recovery College™ has made in meeting its objectives and also introduces some preliminary findings from the evaluation about the student and staff experience of the College.

Co-producing the journey to recovery - report

Topic: Social inclusion

Supporting social inclusion in community gardening: the role of occupational environment - This study explored the participation of mental health support workers, people living with mental health challenges and volunteers in community gardening.

Supporting social inclusion in community gardening study (PDF 223 KB)

Mind's evaluation projects 

Current evaluation projects 

Mind's Research and Evaluation team are currently leading the following evaluation projects:

  • Mind evaluation and outcome measurement strategy - Mind has an evaluation and outcome measurement strategy to guide their internal monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement. The strategy focuses on developing logic models and embedding outcome measures in our services, and building the internal capacity of our staff to monitor outcomes. 
  • Evaluation Framework for our Adult Step Up Step Down services in Queensland program - La Trobe University have been commissioned to develop and trial an evaluation framework for Step Up Step Down Services in Queensland. This evaluation involves Mind, Neami National and Queensland Health. 
  • Evaluation of Mind-Austin Community Recovery Program (internal) - The aim of this evaluation is to understand the impact of the Community Recovery Program, as perceived by consumers, carers and staff.  This evaluation is being conducted in partnership with Austin Health.
  • Evaluation framework for services for people with complex support needs - The aim of this project is to develop an evaluation framework to capture the impact of our services for people with complex support needs.  This project is being conducted in partnership with Professor Leanne Dowse from University of NSW.  

In addition to the work that we are leading, we are a partner on the following evaluation projects:

Building the Evidence Base for Prevention and Recovery Care Services - Led by Professor Jane Pirkis at University of Melbourne, this project aims to explore the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of Victoria’s adult PARC services. The project is a partnership between academic institutions, Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS), clinical mental health service providers and the Victorian Government.

Mind's published evaluation

Evaluation of a residential mental health recovery service in North Queensland (2017) - This study describes the development of an evaluation framework for a new subacute residential mental health recovery service in regional Australia and reports on the formative evaluation outcomes. Evaluation of a residential mental health recovery service in North Queensland (PDF 401 KB) 

Evaluation of the Frankston Youth Prevention and Recovery Care service (2017) - This evaluation was conducted to assess whether the Frankston Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) is meeting its objectives and to identify ways of improving the quality and effectiveness of the program. Evaluation of the Frankston YPARC - executive summary (PDF 1.2 MB)

A report on the early outcomes of the Mind Recovery College (2016) - The early outcomes evaluation aimed to determine the experiences and short-term impacts for students, family and carers and staff member resulting from their connection to the Mind Recovery CollegeTM. A report on the early outcomes of the Mind Recovery College (PDF 1.4 MB)

How well is Mind doing in supporting the recovery of PRC residents? - Evaluation summary (2015) - An evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of changes to the operation of Mind’s Peer Recovery Communities (adult residential rehabilitation services). Mind service - evaluation summary (PDF 156 KB)

The Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) exit surveys - These two reports outline the process and outcomes of exit surveys conducted at Mind Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) services.

Using outcome measures in Mind Australia - A discussion paper exploring key issues in outcome measurement for Mind and the community based mental health support sector.

Using outcome measures in Mind Australia - report (PDF 1.4 MB)